Posted by: Diane Curran | May 8, 2011

30 Years of Innocence: Interview with Alex Smith (Moving Pictures)

Well, after Alex Smith popped up on my blog post about Moving Pictures, and announced a Moving Pictures tour in July, I couldn’t resist asking him for an interview!  And happily he obliged.

Welcome to the blog, Alex.

Tell us about the beginnings of Moving Pictures.  How did the band get started?

I had been singing in bands around Sydney for quite a few years,singing blues,soul, jazz, r&b and rock.

I had started writing songs and began to think about a line-up that could play them as I heard them. Ian had been in a band called “This side up” with me and I knew I wanted him.  He brought Paul Freeland into the mix. I heard Charlie playing with The Great Dividing Band …  and kinda poached him and moved into his house.  I had known Garry through a girlfriend of mine, I thought he was out of town fruit picking BUT he turned up at our guitar audition and that was it. I had gone to high school (St Ives High) with Andy and we had been in bands together since we were twelve! He turned up at our first official gig and was too big to get rid of. And the rest as they say was history or was that hysterical.

Did you always want to be a singer?

It is all that has ever meant anything to me. Little bloke,no good at sport etc, bad at school, but big voice and confidence — not a really hard equation really.

Who are your musical influences and why?

I think my two main musical influences are a guy called Martin Apte who was the guitar player in my high school band and a very dear old friend of mine called Bohdan Polanski who was a guy who was a few years older than us, but, who encouraged and mentored in a most wonderful and enthusiastic way.
Outside that I wanted a band that sounded like a cross between Ian Hunter and Graham Parker.

What is your favourite memory of the band?

Just being in it. ( you had to be there!!!!!)

What is your favourite Moving Pictures song to perform?

That kinda changes a lot. It was so long ago. But I think Wings…. Sisters of Mercy…. Cherie….

What is your songwriting process? Music or lyric first?

I don’t really have a process ( that used to drive them crazy in America). Sometimes words, next time chords or melody or a riff. Sometimes the song is written in 3 or 5 minutes sometimes it may take 20 years .

Which song do you wish you had written and why?

“Love minus zero/no limit”  by Bob Dylan …..   well, Just because it is a song of perfect abstract beauty.

 Last tour you said you had to relearn the songs.  Do you have to relearn them this time around?

A lot of practice has been going on in my house. I think my neighbours are putting together a petition to get rid of me. ( It’s a bit like the villagers with pitch forks in a Frankenstien movie)

 Have you been writing or performing since the last incarnation of Moving Pictures?

I always write.. thats what I do.. It’s not a tap you can turn off.
I have a little band called “The interpreters ” That plays the odd gig (very odd really)

We play a kinda weird Gumbo of swampy soul… Dr John etc  just 3 guys no bass, no drums. 2 guitars and piano.
It’s fun and no pressure. And I get to sing.

 Any chance of a new Moving Pictures album?

Chance would be a fine thing….. Who knows … all our lives have moved along they’re own paths.

Do you cringe in pain as much as I do at the awful insurance ads? 

The Advantage of living in London is that I have NO idea……

See you all soon     Alex (wol) Smith

You can catch Moving Pictures and relive your own days of innocence at the following venues:

Lizottes, Newcastle – Saturday 23 July and Sunday 24 July – tickets on sale now.

Palais Theatre, Melbourne – Friday 29 July  – tickets available through Ticketmaster

State Theatre, Sydney – Saturday 30 July – tickets available through Ticketmaster

Tickets on sale Monday 16 May.  Ticketmaster pre-sale starts Tuesday 10 May.

I’ll be at the State Theatre on 30 July.  Who else is going?

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Responses

  1. I’ll be there in Sydney. Well done re contact and subsequent interview of Alex Smith. Check out my blog for more photos and an even better promo poster. If it is ok, I might use a couple of your great Birkenhead shots in a later piece.

    All the best,
    wj

  2. Hey Di, such a good interview.

  3. I remember seeing MP @ Revesby Workers years ago…go guys!!!

  4. Not coming to Perth? : (

  5. I saw the first Moving Pictures gig last firiday at the Davistown RSL.They were fantastic better then i remembered( Alex Smiths vioce was superb so was the sound of the band).The band was genually appreciative of our applause and singing along with all their songs.We all had a great night!!!!!

  6. I’m Starting a Foundation for Children, and i would like to find out How i Could get a Hold of Alex Smith/moving picture’s.and would I like to Build a Kids Foundation around the Song ” What about ME “How could i get Permission To Use the Song as The Foundation Motivation to Help Kids. any help to Contact The right Party on this Subject would be so Appreciative Angel Almodovar ( webplusvideo@yahoo.com ) Ph# 256-415-7377 Thank You

  7. Contact Empire Touring in Neutral Bay, as they organised the tour. Gary Frost wrote What about Me?

  8. Alex you and the band still rock, saw you at the Melbourne Crown in August you brought back memories of my youth thanks heaps, you made my day.
    Regards and all the best
    Sam.

  9. Hey Sam, are you on Facebook? Is so, come and join the Moving Pictures group on there. Alex often drops by to make comments.

  10. Hi to every one, the contents existing at this site are really remarkable for people knowledge, well, keep up the nice work fellows.

  11. Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is a very well written article.

    I will make sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of
    your useful info. Thanks for the post. I will certainly
    comeback.

  12. Outstanding post however I was wanting to know if you could write a
    litte more on this topic? I’d be very grateful if you could
    elaborate a little bit further. Thanks!

  13. Damn! I just came across this website…too late it would seem. I missed the concert / reunion. *sob* I just loved this band and Days of Innocence was one of the few albums that I played over and over – to this day even. I never tire of the songs or Alex’s voice. Sadly, I was too young to see them live, but thanks to many youtube clips, I’ve had a glimpse. Thank you for the info on this site – I love it.

  14. Hi Zoe! Don’t sweat it – the original line-up is in the habit of touring every other year these days. Be sure to look up the fanpage on facebook (https://www.facebook.com/sweetcheriefanpage).

  15. You’re quick off the mark, Warwick, cheers. Zoe, like our fanpage and there’s also a Moving Pictures group on Facebook. You’ll have all bases covered then. Definitely worth seeing live again and again.


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